SPOKANE, Wash. — Business Insider released a study that says on a national average, people on a minimum-wage salary would have to have at least two jobs to afford an apartment in most areas.
A worker needs to make $26.87 an hour to afford an apartment in the state of Washington, on average. But the state’s minimum-wage amount is significantly lower, at $11.50.
For Spokane, an individual only needs to make $16.67 to afford that same apartment.
Spokane ranks at number 12 out of 17 metropolitan cities in the state, meaning it has one of Washington’s lowest housing wages.
A housing wage is the amount a full-time employee needs to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition published a map showing each state and the average salary a worker needs to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
Washington ranks as the eighth highest in the country.
But with the state minimum wage at $11.50, workers would have to work an extra four hours to meet the housing wage. That’s a total of 12 hours a day.
This leaves a large gap between housing wages and how much minimum-wage workers actually make.
It’s based on the fair market rent, which is how much someone can expect to pay for a modest apartment in areas around the country.
The numbers change every year and depend on the minimum wage.
In 2019, Washington’s minimum wage will be $12.
In 2020, it will be up to $13.50.
Depending on how housing rates fluctuate, Spokane’s housing wages could drop even lower.